Patient Instructions

//Patient Instructions
Patient Instructions2017-06-08T11:34:23+00:00

Pre-Op Instructions

These instructions are for the DAY BEFORE your scheduled procedure.

LIQUID DIET ONLY

The day before surgery, you must adhere to a liquid-only diet. You many have any of the foods listed below as long as they do not contain any small bits of fruit, nuts, etc.

  • Jell-O
  • Coffee, tea, milk, and soda
  • Broth and smooth soups (can be creamed soups such as tomato)
  • Ice cream, sherbet, pudding, popsicles, and yogurt

DRINK WATER

It is important to drink a lot of water the day before surgery.

MIRALAX

Your surgeon may have prescribed Miralax for bowel preparation. Miralax can be purchased over the counter. This medication helps cleanse the bowels before a colonoscopy procedure and/or gastrointestinal operations. This laxative works by drawing large amounts of water into the colon, which softens the stool and causes watery bowel movements. These bowel movements usually cleanse the bowel within 4 hours.

Instructions: Pick up at the pharmacy. Mix 237 grams of Miralax into 64 oz of Gatorade. Take as directed, beginning at 4:00 pm the night before your procedure. Once you have started this prep, you can no longer have any food (including the foods listed above under liquid diet). Water is ok until midnight.

REMEMBER, NOTHING TO EAT OR DRINK AFTER MIDNIGHT!

MVSA will notify you of your surgery and check-in time and surgery location.

Follow these general pre-op instructions:

  • DO NOT EAT OR DRINK ANYTHING (INCLUDING WATER, COFFEE, TEA, CANDY, GUM, MINTS) 8 HOURS PRIOR TO YOUR PROCEDURE OR NOTHING AFTER MIDNIGHT IF YOU ARE SCHEDULED FOR A MORNING PROCEDURE. NO SMOKING/TOBACCO USE 48 HOURS BEFORE SURGERY. If these instructions are not followed, we will have to cancel your surgery.
    • Do not take any medication before surgery without first checking with your physician.
    • If you suddenly catch a cold or other ailment or suffer any changes in your physical condition, notify your physician.
    • Wear loose, comfortable clothing and flat-heeled shoes to the hospital.
    • Remove contact lenses, make-up, earrings, and jewelry (including body jewelry). If you wear contacts, be sure to bring your storage case. If you wear dentures, they will be removed in the pre-operative room and returned to you after surgery.
    • We recommend picking up a stool softener to be used post-operatively. Pain medication (Vicodin, Percocet, etc.) can cause uncomfortable constipation.
    • Children are encouraged to bring a favorite book or toy.
    • SAME DAY SURGERY PATIENTS: Please make sure you have a driver to accompany you on the day of your procedure. After surgery, you will be very drowsy from the anesthetics given during the surgery as well as the pain medication given to you in recovery. WE DO NOT RELEASE PATIENTS UNLESS THEY HAVE A DRIVER.
    • INPATIENT/OVERNIGHT SURGERY PATIENTS: Please bring an overnight bag with any essentials you may need during your stay. We will work promptly to have you discharged at an appropriate time the next day.
  • PLEASE CONTACT YOUR MEDICAL ASSISTANT IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS.
  • See pre-op bowel prep and bathing instructions if recommended by your surgeon.

Preoperative Hibiclens Bathing Instructions

Before surgery, you can play an important role in your own health. Because skin is not sterile, we need to be sure that your skin is as free from germs as possible before surgery. You can reduce the number of germs on your skin by carefully washing before surgery with these instructions.

You will shower with a special soap called chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG). A common brand name for this soap is Hibiclens, but any brand is acceptable to use. The soap may come in liquid form or with a scrub brush applicator. Either form is acceptable.

IMPORTANT: If you are allergic to chlorhexidine, do not use this soap. Notify your medical assistant so alternate bathing instructions can be given.

Bathing Instructions:

  1. Shower or bathe with CHG the night before your surgery AND the morning of your surgery.
  2. First wash your hair as usual with your normal shampoo.
  3. Rinse your hair and body thoroughly after you shampoo to remove any shampoo residue.
  4. Then apply the CHG soap to your entire body ONLY FROM THE NECK DOWN. Do not use CHG near your eyes or ears to avoid permanent injury to those areas.
  5. Wash thoroughly, paying special attention to the area where your surgery will be performed.
  6. After soap has been applied, turn water off to prevent rinsing the soap off too soon. Wash your body gently for five (5) minutes. Do not scrub your skin too hard.
  7. Do NOT wash with your regular soap after CHG has been used.
  8. Do NOT shave the area of your body where your surgery will be performed.
  9. Pat yourself dry with a clean, soft towel.

Post-Op Care

Medication

  • You will be given a prescription for a pain medicine after surgery, usually a pill called Vicodin, Norco, or Percocet.
  • Please follow the directions on the label.
  • Do not drive while taking pain medication.
  • Do not take pain medication on an empty stomach. This may make you nauseated.
  • Use a stool softener or gentle laxative (such as Dulcolax suppository or pill). Constipation is not uncommon with some pain medication.
  • If you no longer need your prescribed pain medication, you may take over-the-counter pain medication such as Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Advil (ibuprofen).
  • Please allow us 24 hours for medication refills. 
  • Listen to your body and rest when you are tired.
  • Do not lift anything heavy (over 15 pounds or as directed by your physician).
  • Do not drive a motor vehicle or operate machinery or power tools for 24 hours or while taking pain medication.

 

  • Advance your diet as directed by your physician slowly over the next day or two.
  • Do not drink alcohol in the immediate postoperative period while taking pain medication.

 

 

  • If you have a clear/see-through bandage over the incision:
  • You may take a shower. The bandage is waterproof.
  • It is not uncommon for some reddish fluid to accumulate under the plastic bandage. This is no cause for alarm.
  • The clear bandage may be removed after 3 days. It is also ok to leave it on until follow-up with your physician.
  • If you have a gauze bandage over the incision:
  • You may remove it after 48 hours.
  • Wait to shower until after you have removed the bandage.
  • If you have narrow white tape strips over the incision (steri-strips):
  • Keep them dry for 48 hours.
  • Do not remove them unless they are curling up at the side and almost falling off (if you remove them sooner, you risk pulling the incision apart).
  • Wait to shower until the strips have been removed.
  • Staples or suture are generally removed in 7-14 days.
  • Many incisions will have buried absorbable sutures, which do not need to be removed.

 

 

  • Showers should be quick (approx. 5 minutes long). Pat the wound with a soapy washcloth, rinse the wound, and pat the wound dry.
  • Do not soak in the bathtub until given approval by your doctor.

 

If you have a drain, record the time and amount of drainage. Empty the drain every few hours or as needed. The nurse will explain how the drain works before you are discharged from the hospital.

 

  • Your temperature is 101°F or higher. It is not uncommon to have a low-grade fever after surgery.
  • You have chills.
  • You have worsening redness around the incision, pus draining from the incision, or if there is a foul odor coming from the incision/surgical site.
  • You have increased swelling at/along the incision site.
  • Severe bleeding occurs. Apply direct pressure to the area while you are calling your doctor.
  • You experience abdominal pain, vomiting, or jaundice (yellow tint to eyes or skin).
  • You have persistent nausea/vomiting.
  • Nausea and stomach upset can occur while taking pain medication. To help prevent this, avoid taking pain medication on an empty stomach.
  • You are unable to eat or drink fluids.
  • You have persistent diarrhea/constipation lasting longer than 2-3 days.
  • Constipation can occur with pain medication. It helps to take an over-the-counter stool softener like Dulcolax while taking pain medication.
  • IF YOU HAVE SEVERE SYMPTOMS OR EMERGENCIES FOLLOWING SURGERY, PLEASE VISIT YOUR NEAREST EMERGENCY ROOM OR CALL 911 FOR IMMEDIATE ASSISTANCE.

 

Please make your follow-up appointment by calling the office or as instructed by your physician. Most appointments are for 10-14 days following your surgery. If you have any problems before then, do not hesitate to call.